Everyone wants a successful podcast/videocast – and these tips can help fellow professionals enjoy the show without being distracted by things that are under our control.
1. The Microphone
Having a good microphone can make all the difference. You don’t have to break the bank for a good microphone, but if you do Zoom calls with clients (or other podcasts, interviews, virtual calls) spending a few dollars might make sense. I recommend this microphone, which you can pickup on Amazon for about $36
At the very least I recommend using a headset, like the ones that came with iPhones (they can be used as speakers as well). AirPods (or similar) work great!
2. The Speakers
Just like a good microphone can make all the difference, having speakers directly in your ear (as opposed to using computer speakers) is a game-changer. It cuts down on any lag the software or internet may produce.
Just like with the microphone, I recommend at least using the headset that came with iPhones (they can be used as a microphone as well. AirPods (or similar) are awesome!
3. Lighting Is Really Important
Along with launching the audio portion of this podcast on all the major platforms (Apple, Google, Spotify, etc) we also launch the video portion on YouTube. When it comes to video, lighting is the MOST important element – even above camera quality. If you don’t already use a LED Light Ring I highly recommend grabbing one ($25 on Amazon). I use it (along with some other lighting) for every podcast, virtual consultation, client meeting, and interview I do – I can’t recommend a simple LED light ring enough.
If you are not planning on using an additional light, I recommend recording in a place with lots of windows. The more natural light the better, and remember to have the light behind the camera – shining on your face, not the light facing your back. I also recommend not relying on your normal room lighting – that lighting tends to be yellowish in nature and doesn’t present people in their best light (that was an unexpected pun 😃 – but made me chuckle).
4. Location & Clothing
These are not the types of things we normally think about when doing a podcast, but I also publish the video version on YouTube – so your location and clothing matter. When it comes to location, I recommend a well-lit area that is free from distractions/clutter. A simple home office or living room setting usually works well. When in doubt turn your camera on and see what the background will look like – what do you think? Would you think that is a background that looks professional? If so, then it probably is.
Clothing also matters – this will be on the internet with your brand attached to it. I personally don’t care what you wear on my podcast, and I’m just bringing it to your attention because most people don’t necessarily think about it when preparing for a podcast.
5. Preparing Your Space
Prior to your recording time beginning make sure your space is set up – give yourself at least 15 minutes. This way you won’t be rushed and will have a more focused mindset. Start a Zoom meeting just for you so you can test your microphone, speakers, lighting, and camera angles. Have any notes or materials you may want ready to go. If you’re using a laptop, make sure it’s plugged in so the battery doesn’t die. Go to the bathroom. Make sure you have water – hydration is important when we’re talking this much!
These are all things I struggled with when I first started doing podcasts – the more you do them the more you’ll know how you personally need to prepare.
6. Submit Any Topics You Want To Explore
I want to get the most out of your time and expertise so please submit any topics you want to explore during the show. I’ll make sure to bring them up or dive deeper into them if you bring them up. What makes this podcast work is the ability for me to pick the brains of really smart people and if you have ideas or concepts you want to explore I’m all ears!
7. It’s A Conversation
At the end of the day, it’s just a conversation between two people. I heard some great advice once about being a guest – which I try and remember myself when I’m asked to be on shows – “it’s a conversation, not a lecture.” So I try to keep my answers under 2 – 3 minutes so I’m not losing anyone and the conversation can continue to flow.
My last bit of advice is that stories always make things more entertaining. If you have quirky, behind-the-scenes, obscure, or special stories please feel open to sharing them. During a surgery did something wild happens, or was there an interesting story to the research paper – we all have interesting stories that have happened to us professionals throughout the years – it’s a great way for the audience to relate.